Red Dress Tours: Kara Roschi And Ernesto Moncada Want To Show You The "Real" Downtown During First Friday

Kara Roschi and Ernesto Moncada would like for you to wear red, and it has nothing to do with a certain local professional sports franchise that's opening its regular season next week.

Rather, it's time for the inaugural First Friday-centric The Red Dress Tours (Caminando de Rojo).

Led by two prolific downtown artists, Friday's debut installment covers the Roosevelt District and will feature Roschi dishing in English and Moncada schooling in Spanish about established and off-the-beaten-path galleries and indie businesses in downtown's core.

The Red Dress Tours - which will cover the Grand Avenue District in October and the uptown/light rail areas starting around Central Avenue and Camelback Road in November - were "initially formed as a positive response to the negative aspects of the giant Roosevelt street closure as it was structured last spring," according to Roschi, who is referring to the controversial Phoestival that's turned some people off from attending the longest continuing art walk in the country.

Consider Roschi one of those folks that hasn't loved Phoestival, whose future remains up in the air. "[The street closures] did not specifically encourage the crowds to tour the city's galleries, but rather promoted the idea of a 'one-night, one-street street-fair' with the majority of the vendor booths being occupied by a mix of corporate, political, religious, and non-arts-related entities," says Roschi. "And it looked bad for downtown. Something that gets barricaded up and torn down over a Friday/Saturday early in the month promotes the idea that downtown Phoenix only exists for that one day."

Instead of all that, the performance art-influenced Red Dress Tours plans to be a light-hearted and participatory shindig that promotes walkability and includes visits to standbys such as eye lounge and Pravus as well as the new Gallery SUHU at 3rd Street and McKinley Road.

Meet at The Firehouse, 1015 North First Street, at 6 p.m. Friday. Admission is free and the tour is open to anybody/everybody. For more information, check out the Facebook page.

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Steve Jansen
Contact: Steve Jansen